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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

24                                        THE FAMISB OF 1860-61.
the succeeding three months this average was reduced to 85, while the deaths
in July and August were only five and six respectively.   The total number of
deaths during the eight months has been 1,758.    Viewing the universality of
ike famine, these resnlis sufficiently evidence ythe active co-operation in  mea-
sures of relief rendered by the native officials assisted by the police, and the
people everywhere most pointedly express their obligation to the Government
and English liberality.   No return of the number of deaths caused by starva-
tion seems to have been kept from October, 1860, to January, 1861, but judg-
ing by the subsequent returns, 250 per mensem might be considered as the
highest average.   Thus, the mortality caused by the famine in this district in
the year 1860-61 may approximately be estimated at 2,500."*    If such a large
number of persons really died simply from starvation—and there seems no
reason to doubt the fact—the arrangements for dispensing relief can scarcely
have merited all the praise bestowed upon them.   There was certainly no lack
of funds towards ihe end, but possibly they came when it was almost too late.
In ihe month of April some 8,000 men were employed daily on the Delhi road ;
the local donations amounted to Bs. 16,,227, and this sum was increased by a
contribution of Bs. 8,000 from the Agra Central Committee, and Us. 5,300
from Government, making a total of Bs. 29,528*   An allotment of Rs. 5,000
was also made from the Central Committee for distribution among the indi-
gent agriculturists, that they might have wherewithal to purchase seed and
At the present time the district has scarcely recovered from a series of
disastrous seasons, resulting in a famine of exceptional -severity and duration^
which will leave melancholy traces behind it for many years yet to come.
Both in 1875 and 1876 the rainfall was much below the average, and the crops
on all mnrrigated land proportionately small.   In 1877 the entire period of
the ordinary monsoon passed with scarcely a single shower, and it was not till
the beginning of October, when almost all hope was over, that a heavy fall of
rain was vouclisafed, which allowed the ground to be ploughed and seed to be
sown for iihe ensuing year.    The autumn crops, upon wliich the poorer classes
Hjainly subsist, failed absolutely, and for the most part had never even been
sown.   As early as July, 1877, the prices of every kind of grain were at
femine sates, whick continued steadily on the increase, while the commoner
sorts were before long entirely exhausted.   The distress in the villages was
* Mr. &6bortMB'i marrafciye bag been copied from the original paper in the District Office*
U0 «tiMr pvtlcalan hate been extracted from Mr. Gitdleatpne's Report oa Past Famine*.
*rito&t& bj Goroeiaeat ia